Putting speculations to rest, the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to remain in jail in the United Kingdom, as the Britain court ruled out the possibility of Assange being extradited to the US where he is to face charges of espionage.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been in Belmarsh prison in the UK since April 2019, when he was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He had taken refuge in 2012 in the Embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that was subsequently dropped in November 2019.
United Kingdom judge rules WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange should not be extradited to United States: Reuters— ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2021
Hearing all the arguments from lawyers representing the US on Monday, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ultimately ruled in favour of Assange. Now, the US side will again have to appeal for his extradition, which could lead to years more legal wrangling.
Lawyers of Julian Assange argue that the WikiLeaks founder’s mental health could be exacerbated in US prison
The judgement was passed taking the WikiLeaks founder’s mental health into consideration as his team of lawyers had argued that Assange is suffering from mental health including suicidal tendencies, that could be exacerbated if he is placed in inhospitable prison conditions in the US.
The Wikileaks founder’s defence lawyer had also called the case politically motivated and argued that their client should be protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution- protections that refer to freedom of speech and press.
The Wikileaks founder has been indicted by US authorities on 17 charges of espionage and one charge of computer misuse related to the publication of secret US military documents that carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.
Recently, the social media space was full of speculations that Donald Trump might pardon Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, currently reported to be struggling in a British prison.
The activist committed to transparency has exposed numerous secrets that has embarrassed a lot of governments worldwide. Recently, Australian MP George Christensen had requested Donald Trump to pardon the Wikileaks founder. Democrat Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard had also requested the US President to pardon the Wikileaks founder and Edward Snowden.